High School Students Career Path in the Twilight Zone

By Dr. Stephen Jones

 The foundation for making a successful transition to work has been shaken by dramatic changes in companies around the globe.  It’s like living in the Twilight Zone.  What appears to be real is not always real when it comes to careers.  A career path may be clear today but fuzzy or even eliminated tomorrow.  What should a student do to prepare for a world that’s in a state of flux? Many of the fortune 500 companies that existed ten years ago are obsolete.  It is truly a wake up call for students who thought that they could follow the traditional career paths of their predecessors.

 Getting prepared to enter the work world or college is even more confusing than it was in the past.  There is tremendous value when students can clarify their goals and map out their future plans. Helping students to have a good plan is more than just telling them to go to college. It’s more than just saying you need a 4.0 graded point average. Companies need students who are creative and bright at the same time.  The Twilight Zone can change among many professions as technology is driving the number of workers that are needed.  A student might wake up in the morning and hear that an entire job function has changed over night.  It seems that the Twilight Zone is even nearer than they think.

Some states are making a preemptive strike at this problem.  One example of a career planning initiative is the Arizona Education and Career Action Plan.  This program is designed to prepare students to write a four year personalized career plan. They are putting students in control of their futures.  With out a plan it is easy for a student to become distracted. Building small communities within the freshman high school class can help students to make better decisions.  Schools have a good opportunity to counsel students who have demonstrated that they have career goals.  These career goals can take students on a four year journey where they explore a number of different job possibilities.

Students need a forum where they can learn how to navigate career choices they are making.  Today every student needs the training that will help them to get ahead.  They can only gain an advantage if educators and parents support innovation in their student’s curriculum.  Both the community and the schools should come together with corporations to talk about relevant careers of the future. These students could visit the companies or work in internships that expose them to the world of work.  It’s important to help students to rethink how they see their world and the extraordinary technological advances that are happening all around them.

Students should be able to come out of the Twilight Zone and take their careers into the next dimension.  The future careers will not require the same skills that students are using today.  There is a tremendous opportunity to bolster each student’s creativity when companies are frequently considering how they can innovate.  There is no limit to what student’s can accomplish. For information visit http://www.drstephenjones.blogspot.com or call 610-842-3843.